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 blister beetle

Invertebrate Collections:

• Cnidaria
    • Insect Collection
    • Insect Research
        • California Beetle Project
        • Histerid systematics
        • Local Butterflies
        • Coal Oil Point insects
        • Santa Barbara’s Ants
Invertebrate Zoology Home

  Invertebrate Zoology: Entomology

Entomology, the study of insects, is a growing focus of the Museum's collections and research program. Dr. Michael Caterino was recently hired into a newly endowed curator position and has invigorated entomological activities at the Museum.

Our entomology program is largely focused on regional biodiversity. Our collection is primarily regional in representation and a major focus of current research is to develop a comprehensive collection of local insects, as well as a database containing information on their local distributions and activity patterns. The insect fauna of the Santa Barbara region, as true for California in general, is rich and surprisingly poorly known. Collecting by Dr. Caterino and students has already turned up numerous species of insects not previously known from our area.

We are interested in promoting appreciation and understanding of local insects and are always available for public inquiries. Identifications may take a few days, and are not always possible, but if a good specimen, or high quality photograph can be provided, we can usually offer some information.

 Michael Caterino Dr. Michael Caterino joined the Museum staff in 2001, following training at UC Berkeley and the Natural History Museum in London. His primary research speciality is the taxonomy and evolution of an obscure, but diverse and interesting, family of beetles called Histeridae. He has published several papers on the group, and described over 50 new species. His research uses both traditional morphological methods and modern DNA-based techniques.

Dr. Caterino has initiated a new and exciting project to survey all the beetles living in California: an estimated 10,000 species (see California Beetle Project pages). An inventory of this diverse group of organisms has never been compiled for our area. The database resulting from this project will be a great resource to teachers, conservation biologists and land-use planners. This project has recently obtained funding through the National Science Foundation's CAREER program.

In addition to Histerids and beetles in general, Dr. Caterino's research has included Jerusalem crickets ("potato bugs") and Swallowtail butterflies.

Michael Caterino, Ph.D.,
Curator of Entomology, ext. 151

For more information, see:
Caterino’s cv
Histerid Research
California Beetle Project

 Lycaenid Butterflies

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